More than two years since the FBI raids brought the still-ongoing federal investigation involving Concept to light, the charter operator has continued to do business with contractors identified in court documents as allegedly having been involved in defrauding a U.S. Department of Education grant program, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.
The charter-management organization — which runs four taxpayer-funded charter schools in Chicago and dozens more across the Midwest — has paid more than $519,000 since the raids to companies federal authorities said were involved in the corruption probe and their subsidiaries, according to documents the newspaper obtained from individual Concept schools.
There has been no correspondence between CPS and Concept Schools — which gets millions of taxpayer dollars a year to operate its Chicago schools — regarding the federal probe, according to CPS and the charter operator.
A CPS spokeswoman declined to comment Friday, citing the ongoing investigation. Sun-Times
A WBEZ analysis of the $650 million in new school construction shows:
- $475 million or 73 percent of all money went to schools where white students make up more than a quarter of the student body. That’s in a school system in which only 12 percent of Chicago’s schools have more than 25 percent white students.
- Latino students are more likely to be in overcrowded schools, though they don’t get as much new construction. Seventy-five percent of the students in overcrowded schools in 2011-2012 were Latino, according to CPS data. But they make up half of the kids in schools that got new construction. Meanwhile, 18 percent of the students in overcrowded schools were white, but they make up 30 percent of kids in schools that got help with overcrowding.
- $224 million or more than one-third of the recent and proposed projects are intended to relieve overcrowding at schools sharing a border with a school that has space for additional students.
- $193 million is for magnet and selective high schools. Because of the way students are selected for top schools, they disproportionately serve white, middle-class families–a trend that has become more pronounced during Emanuel’s tenure, and since CPS was released from a court-order to desegregate its schools.
Through a spokeswoman, Emanuel declined to be interviewed for this story.
Eighty three percent of Bahamas’ total population is Black and the small Caribbean nation has now issued a travel warning to its citizens travelling to the United States: exercise extreme caution when confronted by police.
“We wish to advise all Bahamians traveling to the U.S. but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate,” the Foreign Ministry published on its website late Friday.
The alert was posted following the killing of five police officers in Dallas during a protest against the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling and Philando Castle in Louisiana and Minnesota respectively.
“If there is any issue please allow consular offices for the Bahamas to deal with the issues. Do not get involved in political or other demonstrations under any circumstances and avoid crowds,” the travel advisory adds.
The warning has been described as rare by several media outlets including the BBC, as the U.S. government regularly issues travel warnings for citizens visiting other countries but it is rare for other countries to do the same. Telesur